HRM and the province have agreed on some components for the proposed convention centre, but not the property tax issue.

Halifax regional council spent another two hours in a secret meeting yesterday to hash out another response from the province.

“For the most part we’re fairly close on things. There are a few issues that are still in negotiations, but by far we have made some agreed-upon points,” Mayor Peter Kelly said after the meeting ended.

The two sides are coming to terms with the $159-million project, with no commitment yet from the federal government. The province asked HRM to exempt the convention centre from paying property taxes.

“We want to ensure it’s a deal that’s fair to our taxpayers, which happens to be their taxpayers as well,” Kelly said. “We’re asking for an equal partnership and ... we are looking for them to acknowledge that equal partnership.”

Kelly added the benefits of the project should be evenly split.

“There is a movement back and forth. We’re not there yet, but we’re striving to negotiate and move forward.”

HRM council voted 22-2 to support the project early last month and has been negotiating in private ever since.

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